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What's wrong with this picture?

August 22, 2010
  • Traffic moves along Massey Boulevard toward Valley Mall in Hagerstown. Drivers often aren't sure which lane to use to continue across Halfway Boulevard to the mall.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

Editor's note: Each Monday, The Herald-Mail will highlight an infrastructure issue or other problem and will try to find out what is being done to fix or improve the situation.

We will not tackle situations involving neighborhood or domestic disputes or consumer problems.

The problem: Those driving along Massey Boulevard often aren't sure which lane to use to continue across Halfway Boulevard to Valley Mall. Drivers are in two lanes but see signs giving them three choices of lanes. The road then separates into three lanes after the signs, just before the intersection.

Michael Koch of Hagerstown e-mailed a picture of the problem and suggested new road signs to make it clearer.

"Traffic constantly backs up in the right turn lane because there are no proper signs telling you what lane to be in to go straight," Koch wrote. "People stop in the right lane and try to get in to the left lane after they realize they need to be in the left lane in order to go straight across Halfway Boulevard. The current sign showing three lanes is completely useless. Proper signs need to be posted. They need to be further back and on both sides of the road."

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Who could fix it: Washington County

What they say: Edwin Plank, director of the Washington County Highway Department, agreed that the signs are confusing and said it's been a problem for many years, particularly where to put the signs to help drivers the most.

Plank said the problem will be corrected when the county improves the intersection.

Joseph Kroboth III, the director of the county's Division of Public Works, said a lane will be added at all four legs of the intersection. Design work is finished. He said the county was ready to advertise for bids, only to hear that the state and federal departments of transportation needed to work out a problem with a document. Kroboth said the county is waiting to get the go-ahead to advertise for bids.

--Compiled by Andrew Schotz

o If you are aware of a safety problem, a major annoyance or a pet peeve that one of our governmental bodies, an agency or an organization is responsible for fixing, send the information, and a photo if you have it, to:

What's Wrong With This Picture
c/o The Herald-Mail newsroom
100 Summit Ave.
Hagerstown MD 21740

You can e-mail the information to lindad@herald-mail.com">lindad@herald-mail.com.

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